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Please help new to this Skipper my dog is lame both back legs

Neurological Disorders Resources. Treatment and care for pets having pain or trouble walking or standing due to spinal injuries or neurological disorders like IVDD, FCE and DM.
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kandykane
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Please help new to this Skipper my dog is lame both back legs

Post by kandykane » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:04 am

Please help new to this Skipper my dog is lame both back legs
First Skipper is 14 years old, He is dachshund, basset hound and black lab mix always in good health till now
all I get from the Vet is give him his medication and we will see what is what like a wait and see - has been going on since March 31, 2019
should I be keeping up with massages, heating pad, should I let him move around using only his front legs/paws, should I use a harness instead of collar, is there a proper way to lift and carry him - I did buy a rear lifting harness
believe it is IVDD - Skipper is real sensitive spine just past the end of his rib cage
He is on his last 3 days of Prednizone and cophalexin
Yes I already took to Vet 3 times
My Dog Skipper has lost use of his 2 rear legs, first vet said
hip dyspalsia, (not my regular Vet she was on vacation) gave carprofen
3 days later, my Vet came back and said torn acl right rear leg and prescribe prednizone and cophalexin, didn't make sence since both legs are lame (can't use) took back to vet and had 3 x rays done showed some inflamation on mid spine
Don't know what to believe at this point, what did you do to help him/her
My baby is 14 years old and shouldn't have to live the rest of his life like this, this all started by Skipper chasing his ball, he came back limping, I massaged him, ice treatment and bed rest for 2 days till I seen the first vet
Any and all help is greatly appreciated - Thank You in Advanced

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Re: Please help new to this Skipper my dog is lame both back legs

Post by critters » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:03 am

:whale: Can you take him to another vet? IVDD is a good guess, especially with his mix of breeds. Did the prednisone help? Can he poop and pee (especially pee) by himself? Did anybody show you how to express him (squeeze his bladder to help him pee)? Are you in the US or another country? Do you know about walking aids and wheelchairs (carts)?

kandykane
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Re: Please help new to this Skipper my dog is lame both back legs

Post by kandykane » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:49 am

Looking to find another Vet, got to get my x rays some how from the other Vet and bring with me
Yes he does Poop and Pee on his own no problem there, his poop was kinda soft for a couple days thought that might have been from the drugs? watched videos of how to express a dog to poop and pee he still has 4 days to go on the prednisone and antibiotics was thinking maybe also give him some pedilaiyte even though he is drinking, when people say bed rest do you mean 24 - 7 as he gets antze for a hour or so a couple times a day and paces
I am in Florida
Thank you for asking any help will be appreciated

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Re: Please help new to this Skipper my dog is lame both back legs

Post by FYI » Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:41 am

kandykane wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:04 am
is there a proper way to lift and carry him

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CarolC
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Re: Please help new to this Skipper my dog is lame both back legs

Post by CarolC » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:21 am

I agree about another vet. It sounds like this vet did not give you enough information to help your dog. Ideally I would get him in to see a specialist immediately if you can afford it. Not only is it better for the dog, but it can save money in the long run to get an accurate diagnosis and correct treatment right away.

I am unsure what size your dog is with his mix of breeds. I agree with critters that dachshund and basset are breeds that get IVDD. Labs can also have spinal problems, and aging dogs can, too. The location you said he has pain is a common location for a disk problem.

Since your dog still has feeling his feet and ability to toilet on his own, there is a chance you may be able to treat him with rest and medication. (This is called conservative treatment.) However, you really need an expert not to just look at him and take a few x-rays, but to really determine the degree of the problem. If it is not too bad, rest and medication can result in recovery. If it is bad enough, surgery may be your best option. I know he is 14, so that would be a judgment call. I remember a dachshund where surgery was done successfully at age 13. The vet would have to see not just your dog's age but his actual condition "for his age" to make that determination. He may be physically young and healthy for 14, or average, or whatever.

I think your original vet did you a disservice in giving the medication and then not telling you to crate him. That is the main reason I would get another vet (plus the confusion about ACL). When the dog has a spinal problem, something like prednisone helps the swelling go down and the dog tends to feel better and may feel like being more active than is good for him, and that creates a serious risk of making his condition much worse.

The disk is a little pillow between 2 bony vertebrae. If the dog is having a disk problem, the disk has lost its proper shape and outline. Part of it is bulging and pushing on the nerves/spinal cord. It takes advanced imaging like an MRI or CT to actually see what is going on. The x-rays are good for showing the bones of the spine, but not the shape of the soft disks, and where they are bulging and how much. In some cases, with medication and very strict rest, the disk can return to its proper shape gradually over the space of 6-8 weeks. But it needs rest to do so. And it really does take 6-8 weeks. If the dog keeps moving around, the activity will keep squashing the disk and deforming it and it will never heal. The vet should have explained the possibility.

I would recommend that you crate him right now and be entirely strict about it. In the crate 24/7, only out to potty, and carry him to the potty location, and carry him back. While he is pottying, it should be on a leash, and only let him move as much as is needed to get the job done, then right back in the crate he goes. He won't like it. He may get antsy. I had to do that with my dog and he whined for the whole first week and just about drove me nuts, I could hardly think. I bought some of those orange headphone hearing protectors like you use for power equipment and had to wear them because it was stressing me out, but there was no choice, he had to be crated, it takes tough love. After about a week he began to settle down and accept that he was going to be crated, and then he quit whining. I always say, 6 weeks is a crate is a small price to pay for a lifetime of walking. And never walking again is a high price to pay for an hour of playtime when he should be resting. It just isn't worth it.

You yourself did the right thing, you took your dog to the vet (more than once) but I feel like the vet did not give you enough information and it is fortunate the dog didn't become completely paralyzed during the past few weeks as a result. He may not have IVDD, it could be bone spurs or calcification or something else, but that needs to be determined. In the meantime, I'd go with "better safe than sorry". Whatever it is, resting him and restricting his movement is a good idea.

You may want to go on Dodgerslist, where they have a lot of information about treatment for IVDD. Here are a couple of links on crate rest and the importance of it.

http://www.dodgerslist.com/literature/CrateRRP.htm

http://www.dodgerslist.com/literature/healingpage.htm

:group:

kandykane
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Re: Please help new to this Skipper my dog is lame both back legs

Post by kandykane » Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:00 pm

Skipper weighs 48 lbs mostly muscle great health besides now
I don't have a crate so guess got to invest in 1
he gets antzy in his small bed I made as I said a couple hours a day and thought I would put his water dish nearby so he could drink when he needed and a poop and pee pad nearby guess both are a no no cause really don't want him to accidentally pee or poop and lay in it
all I was told was rest and pills the rest I thought would help like the heating pad and massages, don't know if I am making matters worse
It's only me and I got to go shopping don't know if I should carry him with me in the car or safely leave him home for a couple hours not crated
was reading x rays don't show much MRI shows more but expensive at least here the x rzys along cost me 6 hundred
need to be stirred in the right direction Thank You for your help
I am going Vet shopping as for surgery not sure

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Re: Please help new to this Skipper my dog is lame both back legs

Post by CarolC » Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:15 pm

I'm sorry, I did not realize he was 48 lbs. I was thinking maybe 30. 48 lbs is too big to carry. I'm glad you got a harness or sling. If he is average length like a lab, a rear harness is good. If he is long-bodied like a basset, you may want to consider whether it is wide enough to support his middle. If you look on the homepage of this forum, up where it says 'Announcements' there is an example of a good harness for a long-bodied dog.

That is a lot of money, $600. I agree they should definitely give you a copy of the x-rays if you go to a specialist. But they have tried to treat him for 3 weeks so they should not be surprised if you go to another vet.

If he has bowel and bladder control and can feel his feet, it is less likely he will need surgery. They will probably at least try the crate rest first. If they think he has already done 3 weeks of crate rest, be sure they understand it was not super-strict rest. With my dog, we did crate rest with prednisone and he got a little better. When he was rechecked 2 weeks later they said continue the crate rest and they also continued the prednisone. They kind of re-evaluate and decide what to do from there.

Crate rest for a big dog does not have to be in a crate. It can be in an x-pen, or you can make other arrangements. One couple here blocked their dog into the end of the hallway. You could also use a laundry room or small bathroom with a baby gate. The exercise pen works really well because you only have to swing it open to walk the dog out, which is safer for your back. With a crate it is harder to lean in and get a big dog out. Crates are better for smaller dogs you can easily lift. An x-pen allows you to keep the dog in the center of activity with you. You can even set up the x-pen in front of a patio door so he can look out and entertain himself watching what is going on outside. If you have any friends with kids, they may have a toddler playard you could borrow, it is similar to an x-pen. Here is a nice picture of Tinker (beagle with IVDD) doing crate rest in an x-pen. Below that I will put pictures of the baby playard and an x-pen and an IRIS pen for examples.
Tinker.jpg
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surrounds.PNG
IRIS.PNG
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I would keep his water dish where he can reach it. If there is a problem with him peeing, he can wear a male doggy diaper called a malewrap. It goes around the waist with velcro and holds an absorbent pad in place (like Poise) to catch the urine.
:malewrap:
If it was my dog I would probably leave him home while shopping and just hope he will take a nap. :sleepingdog:

Here is a link about massage. The part in the pink box is for conservative treatment (meaning rest and medication like your dog right now). It says if the legs are not paralyzed, then no massage is needed. If the legs are paralyzed, it gives a list of what is safe to do, but they tell people to check with the vet first. Hope this helps.

http://www.dodgerslist.com/literature/m ... rcises.htm

kandykane
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Re: Please help new to this Skipper my dog is lame both back legs

Post by kandykane » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:14 pm

Thanks for answering some questions, Hope your dog is doing well
Yes floored me when they said $600. and vet visit 50 bucks each time plus the meds
might have to invest in a different harness Skipper is long
my morning will be phone calls
I will let the vet know it was not restricted restricted bed rest, it is more some what, he don't like it
but I laid with him a bit and explained he is super grounded (haha)
and got to go shopping in the morning, he will have to come with me
Should I keep gentle massages up or do you think that irritates it more
and heating pad yes or no
is there a supplement that is good to help promote the healing process or what I have seen are just bull like the tumeric and glucosamine and chondroitin supplements
I am new to the area I am living at only been here 3 months to take care of my sister she had triple open bypass heart surgery and she is slowly recovering
Thank You again and hope you had a great Easter
tried to attach pics of my dog and harness don't know if I did or not learning this here
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back harness.jpg
harness I got
back harness.jpg (5.29 KiB) Viewed 4233 times
skipper.jpg
pic of my dog Skipper
skipper.jpg (68.05 KiB) Viewed 4233 times

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Re: Please help new to this Skipper my dog is lame both back legs

Post by CarolC » Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:38 pm

He is super cute. He does look sleek and strong.

So you are new in that location, what timing. It reminds me of Dianne's dachshund who got his injury shortly after they moved from Tennessee to Pennsylvania and she didn't know anybody and didn't have a vet yet. That is what you are dealing with, too. If you were in your home town you would have a vet you already know.

I think that's a Carelift harness, isn't it? It actually puts the lift in front of the legs, not on the extreme rear, it might be OK. Is he supporting himself at all when you use it, or are you supporting him completely? If he is partially supporting himself, then you are putting less lift on his rear and less stress on his back. If you are fully supporting him, then a wider sling might be better, but his manhood is pretty far forward so you are limited in how wide of a sling will fit under his belly and not get in the way, but the Carelift will not be in the way at all. I wonder if you can use the Carelift and adjust it a little forward if possible, because it looks like there is plenty of room to move it forward a little bit and not get in the way of his business. Dogs are all different, after seeing him I'm not sure a wide sling would work for him to potty.
carelift-lifting-harness-rear-only.jpeg
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If it was me, I think I might wait to do massage until the vet approves it. If you feel he needs it because his legs are losing flexibility, then the way to do it is massage the legs without doing anything to affect his back. Somewhere there is a video with a dog lying on his side, showing how to kind of brace the dog's hip with one hand while you move the leg with the other. That way all the motion is in the leg only, not transferring to the rest of the body.

I don't know about the heating pad because nobody has said for sure what the diagnosis is. If it is IVDD I have not heard of using a heating pad for that, but if he has arthritis it might do some good. You really just need a proper diagnosis so you can make the best decisions. It's a shame you have been to 2 vets 3 times and been told 3 different things and all you know is there might be some inflammation in his back, and you kind of already knew that yourself, and it was you telling them where to look.

They recommend not giving supplements while the dog is on medication.

I noticed you said earlier his stools were a little soft. Something they do recommend is to give a stomach protectant while a dog is on steroids like Prednisone. A common one is Pepcid ac. You could ask the vet the dosage for his weight. Pepcid is available at Walmart or Walgreens, does not cost much, and may help his tummy. :)
http://www.dodgerslist.com/literature/IVDDcourse/medications_used.html wrote:3. Stomach protector. Ask your vet if there is a medical reason your dog may not take Pepcid AC. If there is no reason, we give doxies 5mg Pepcid (famotidine) 30 minutes before the NSAID/ Steroid and thereafter every 12 hours. Pepcid is generally considered a safe over-the-counter anti-acid for a healthy dog and good insurance. Dogs don't speak up at the first signs of stomach problems like people do. By the time we notice symptoms the problem has headed in a dangerous direction.
P.S. I noticed the board was down earlier this afternoon. I do not know what was going on but I reported it to someone at HandicappedPets and they seem to have fixed it pretty quickly, sorry if it gave you any problems.

kandykane
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Re: Please help new to this Skipper my dog is lame both back legs

Post by kandykane » Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:03 am

Yes it is a carelift, so far he does help a little mainly his left leg works a little on occasion, they do have a manhood support on the bottom, I make sure I don't lift to high

Yes it stinks not knowing a good Vet and here where I am right now they don't open till 10 am, got a list of questions to ask the Vet and not leaving till I get answers I need

I really do appreciate all the help you are giving me, kinda at my wits end with my dog and sister, don't know who had a rougher night him or her

I am gonna wait on the heating pad for now then and give him gentle head and neck massage to calm him down seems to work
Feel really bad as got to yell at him and have never really had to do that often
I adopted skipper when he was 5 years old so don't know about his first 5 years, but he is smart and well behaved, I call him the brains of the outfit
I did notice it was down for a bit no problem though it happens, I am sure glad there are people out there that know what to do and are willing to help the best they can, decided to leave Skipper home as I run to the store he cant move around that far no more

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Re: Please help new to this Skipper my dog is lame both back legs

Post by CarolC » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:56 am

Neck massage sounds wonderful.

If you find a specialist and they recommend acupuncture and cold laser, I would try that. It has scientifically been shown to help. It can be done while the dog is on crate rest because the dog is lying down for the treatment.

:arrow: http://www.dodgerslist.com/literature/h ... ncture.htm

This is the clearest information on IVDD I have seen. Here is the link to the article, and below I am quoting one paragraph about healing a disk. I like the timeline, how many weeks each step takes.
http://sturgisvet.com/smallanimalclinic ... sease.html
12. How important is confinement to the success of conservative therapy for thoracolumbar IVDD?

Strict confinement is crucial and is considered the cornerstone of conservative therapy for IVDD (the dog is kept in the cage at all times and only taken outside to relieve him/herself). In order to accomplish the goals of preventing further extrusion of the nucleus of the disk and to promote healing of the outer layers (the annulus) of the disk, strict confinement is necessary. Activity can easily push more of the nucleus into the spinal canal and dramatically worsen the neurological status. It is not uncommon to see dogs that have “gone down” after a short course of pain relievers given without insuring that the owner would enforce strict cage rest. A typical IVDD case requires up to 6 weeks of confinement. This time frame is based on the time it takes the annulus to heal by scar formation. Fibrous scar tissue takes 3 weeks to begin to be laid down and scar formation reaches its peak at 6 weeks. So strict cage rest is followed for the initial 3 weeks. After a recheck exam that shows improvement, slightly more freedom is granted. At 4 weeks more freedom is allowed if the recheck exam shows substantial improvement. After 6 weeks have passed, healing should be well underway and the recheck exam should show a more nearly normal neurologic status. Then cage rest can be discontinued, but lifestyle changes designed to help prevent a recurrence should be followed – that is weight control, limited stairs and jumping.
On Dodgerslist they have found from experience that an even longer rest period (6-8 weeks instead of just 6) seems to help prevent the problem from returning.

Hope this helps.

kandykane
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Re: Please help new to this Skipper my dog is lame both back legs

Post by kandykane » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:56 pm

Talked to a few Vet receptionists today
Told that they do their own x rays if they feel it is necessary
the place I really wanted to talk to was closed today Country Critters
will call when they open in the morning first thing
figured while I was out this morning talked to a few people I seen with dogs and asked them who their Vets were
Thanks for all the info you are giving me
what do you do when your dogs wants to continue drag rear legs and pacing, the confinement area I have is small but he still has some room to pace, I do have a couple of his favorite toys in there so he's not to bummed out and completely shuts down on me, I know he's in pain has spasms and is bummed out can tell by his cute little face
Will ask about the cold laser and acupuncture
a lot of reading to do
He does enjoy his neck massages and I did leave him home today, bought some potty pads and diapers and a cone in case can't get him to wear the diapers as he wants to keep licking his manly part more, which I do clean also
I Thank You again for your help, my questions to the Vet just keeps getting longer, but if he is a caring Vet like they should be they should understand

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Re: Please help new to this Skipper my dog is lame both back legs

Post by CarolC » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:51 pm

kandykane wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:56 pm
what do you do when your dogs wants to continue drag rear legs and pacing, the confinement area I have is small but he still has some room to pace, I do have a couple of his favorite toys in there so he's not to bummed out and completely shuts down on me, I know he's in pain has spasms and is bummed out can tell by his cute little face
Yes, crate rest is frustrating for the dog and the family for the first week, at least until he adjusts to the "new normal". You could try making his confinement area smaller. They say it should be big enough for the dog to lie down and turn around, with room for a water bowl. Some people have recommended a pheromone product called DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) which is supposed to have a calming influence. I've never tried it, it was a little expensive to try without a guarantee, but apparently it helps some dogs. The other option would be to ask the vet for something to calm him down. There is also an idea that has been suggested for senior dogs or DM dogs that won't sleep through the night, which is to run an electric fan near the bed. I have no idea if it would help at all, but it is easy to try. Possibly if they would give him some pain meds for the spasms he would be able to rest.

I want to give you a couple of tips about him licking his male area. When you notice that in a dog that is having spinal problems, there are two common reasons why it might be happening.

The first one is a possible urinary infection. I know you said he is still able to poo and pee on his own, and that's great. What can happen is that the dog can appear to have control, but really only has partial control, so when he goes out to potty, you see him urinate and you don't realize, he didn't get himself completely empty. That is because the dog either doesn't have full sensation, to be able to feel he is not empty, or because he does not have complete control of his muscles to completely empty his bladder. When that happens, after a while you are likely to have a urinary infection because he is never completely emptying his bladder, he is leaving a little stale urine in there all the time, and it creates an environment for germs to grow, and that is how he could get a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). If you decide that is the problem, the solution is, when you take him out to potty, you let him start to pee by himself, then use your hands to squeeze his tummy and put pressure on his bladder to help be sure he gets his bladder empty.

Here is a video showing a dog that begins to urinate, then someone squeezes him to help him finish. The videos shows 4 dogs, the one I am talking about is the dog named Riley at the 3:50 time mark. The video would not let me start in the middle, you may have to watch from the beginning till you get to 3:50.
http://vid995.photobucket.com/albums/af ... eydb-1.mp4

UTIs are usually treated pretty easily with antibiotics. If you notice an odor to his urine, or any sign of discoloration, that would be another clue he might have a UTI. Licking is one possible sign of UTI.

There is another condition that can cause a dog with a spinal problem to lick and chew. The common areas they chew are often the hind feet or the pen*s. It can happen when a dog is recovering feeling after being paralyzed. I believe I heard or read it can also happen in some dogs (for example with DM, a degenerative spinal condition) as they are gradually losing feeling. The theory is that the dog is feeling a pins and needles sensation or similar unusual sensation caused by the nerves, that is annoying to the dog. They will lick and chew it to try to soothe it. In some cases the dog will keep licking and chewing even to the point of damaging himself. I know of a couple of cases where the dog chewed so badly he did so much damage they could not save him (it happened overnight or when the owner was not home). There is a medication that can take care of this problem so the dog is comfortable and does not chew. It is called gabapentin.

You might want to be sure to mention the licking to the vet, when you get a good vet. They can get a urine sample and see if he has an infection. If not, then it may be neurological, and I would want to get gabapentin if it was my dog. In the old days before they were using gabapentin, people tried different things to prevent the chewing. They tried the cone collar, but dogs can get out of them. They tried bitter tasting sprays or gel like Bitter Apple or Yuk-2-E, but many dogs will ignore them and keep on chewing. I could give you quite a few links of dogs with this problem. I will give you one that is a little alarming. This does not mean your dog has this problem, more likely it is a urinary infection, but if you have the knowledge then you will know what to look for in the future. Here is Pam's account of what happened when Bailey chewed his pen*s.

That's too bad about the x-rays. It makes you want to show them the ones you've got and say, "Can you guarantee the ones you are going to take are better than these? Is there a different angle you want to get that is not on these three?" I'm not the type that argues, I always think of things I wish I could say, then politely keep my mouth shut and go along with what they say, but I'm thinking it...

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Re: Please help new to this Skipper my dog is lame both back legs

Post by kandykane » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:03 am

got a hold of Country Critters
they said bring x rays if possible and they will look at them and only if need be will take more
can't see me till friday late unless emergency visit than would be $200.00 plus everything else
otherwise it would be $45.00 plus what every else
He has been good today no licking his privates, pee good and long pee and good poop still a little more less firm than usual
Made his area smaller and told him we are trying to get you better I know it stinks but we have to do this - funny didn't realize I talk to my dog so much, explain thing to him
I'm like you have things I want to say but bite the tongue but got my note pad and pen to write what the Vet says cause you don't get it all when they are talking at least I don't, seems like they think ya should know, I wouldn't be here if I did I think to myself
Guess he understands trying to make him feel better

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Re: Please help new to this Skipper my dog is lame both back legs

Post by critters » Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:37 pm

Xrays can't directly show IVDD anyway, so their usefulness is limited.

Gabapentin can be terrific if he's feeling zaps or other weird stuff from the damaged nerves. One of my boys took it a long time for his spinal cord injury.

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